South African Electoral Commission Dismisses Claims of ZANU PF Accreditation

May 14, 2024
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Illustration: Lisa Nelson/GroundUp

The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has refuted claims that Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF, has been accredited to observe South Africa’s upcoming elections.

Allegations that ZANU PF would be granted observer status on election day sparked significant controversy last week. Reports surfaced that the African National Congress (ANC) had enlisted ZANU PF to aid its election campaign ahead of the polls scheduled for later this month.

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) promptly wrote to the IEC, raising concerns about ZANU PF’s involvement. ATM leader Vuyo Zungula highlighted accusations of political intolerance, violence, and election rigging against ZANU PF, warning that its participation could tarnish the integrity of South Africa’s elections. Zungula recommended that the IEC only permit organizations with a proven track record of democratic principles as observers.

In its response, the IEC assured that ZANU PF, along with any other political party, had not been accredited as an observer. IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya emphasized the Commission’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.

“I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 10 May 2024, in which you expressed concerns regarding ZANU PF’s participation in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections as an observer,” Moepya stated. “The Commission would like to reassure you and the ATM community that it has not accredited ZANU PF or any other political party to observe the elections in South Africa. The Commission strongly believes in the integrity of the elections it manages and therefore safeguards against measures that would compromise its processes.”

South African citizens will head to the polls on May 29, 2024, to cast their votes in both national and provincial elections. For the first time, individuals not associated with political parties can stand as independent candidates in both national and provincial elections.